Sherlock Holmes has undeniably been riding a wave of popularity in recent years, but there are mountains yet for him to climb. Hit movies and popular TV shows are one thing . . . but has he had his own menu item at Denny's yet?
This weekend was marked by another not-so-successful superhero movie reboot of the Fantastic Four, and even though that critically-panned movie seems to be taking a drubbing with fans and non-fans alike, the one success from the film, if all the geek podcasts are any indication, is in getting comic book fans to make a trip to Denny's to try a Thingburger, Human Torch skillet, Invisible Woman Slam, or Doctor Doom Lava Cake. (If you get the first three in the same meal, it's the Super Skrull supper. Sorry, comics nerd joke in Sherlockian blog.)
Anywho, it got me thinking about this Denny's level of anticipated popularity. What if the next Downey movie or season of Sherlock became so anticipated that a restaurant chain decided to us it to sell more food . . . without converting to a British menu, of course. What burgers would be wrought in the name of Holmes and Watson? What pancakes might be served under the endorsement of Inspector Lestrade? And Mycroft . . . oh, dear lordy, what gastronomic monstrosity might bear his name?
So the theorizing began.
The "rude meal" Holmes made in "Beryl Coronet" has always been a favorite of mine, since you can just go to Arby's and mimic it. "He cut a slice of beef from the sideboard, and sandwiched it between two rounds of bread." But that's not enough to get people to try it out of curiosity . . . let's make it the "Mr. Holmes Roast Beef Stack." Roast beef and Sussex cheddar with a special honey sauce served on an English muffin.
How about a Watsonburger? Somebody has to be the burger guy, and nobody has the everyman quality of the hamburger like Dr. Watson. But what makes a Watsonburger unique to the good doctor? Well, Watson liked his bacon, as evidenced in that hearty meal from "Engineer's Thumb," so we have that modern burger standard in hand. Add some Swiss cheese in honor of his part in "The Final Problem." Sauteed mushrooms go on, to add a touch of Watson conducting his own investigation, as he started to in "Empty House," at which time he pondered the "mushroomed" bullet of that case. Nothing wrong with that combo, and it's all Watson. If you want to wound your Watsonburger by squirting on the ketchup, that's up to you. We'll give you an order of Murray Fries to help you escort it from the scene of your dietary battle.
Now, if we're going to pair a meal with Irene Adler, it has to be a meal fit for a king.
"The Adventuress," as we're going to call Irene's signature sandwich pays tribute to her New Jersey roots by doing a hot dog in a traditional New Jersey style, with grilled peppers, onions, and potatoes on it. But instead of a hot dog, it has a Polish sausage to recognize her time as Prima Donna of the Warsaw opera. Put it on a sub sandwich bun so you can make it plenty big (and add some Bruce-Partington confusion) so you have a meal big enough for a young man . . . or a woman pretending to be a young man.
Mrs. Hudson's 221B Breakfast can feature 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 1 mess of hash browns, and capital "B" Bacon. Some things, you just keep simple. Mycroft's Greek Interpreter Gyro is a typical gyro on a pita with all the fixings, but you use good old British roast beef for the meat. Lestrade's Scotland Yard Bulldog is a non-alcoholic drink (since we're talking eatery and not bar here) -- a milkshake flavored with chocolate, coffee, and Coca-cola.
Coming up with Sherlockian menu items is always a good time, as food and Sherlockians have been tied together since the hobby began, along with coming up with reasons to have any given item served at dinner in honor of our friend Sherlock. That "very large flat box" that shows up at suppertime in "Noble Bachelor" still makes me contend that delivery pizza is a proper food for a Sherlock Holmes fan.
And if it all makes you too hungry, one can always work in a few of the rejects from this imaginary Denny's Sherlock menu as well. The Milverton . . . er, Magnussen . . . drink choice will surely give anyone pause. But that is a topic for another time. For now, how about that Watsonburger?